SHS Class of 1967

Donna Fitzpatrick Sollenberger

Updated November 27, 2015

    Donna Fitzpatrick   E-mail: Donna Fitzpatrick Sollenberger
      Now Living in: Sugar Land, TX and Galveston, TX. Split time between both homes.
      Marital Status: Married
      Occupation: CEO, Health System, University of Texas Medical Branch
      Kids: Shannon - married with one 9 year old son
    Blake - married with a thirteen month old son.
    Brad- married with a fourteen month old daughter.
      Hobbies: Travel, walking on the beach, writing and speaking on advanced healthcare strategy and leadership.
      Authors: Jim Collins, Earnest Hemingway, Mother Theresa, Michael Connelly, Anita Shreve.
      Music: Country, classical, Christmas.
      Movies: Begin Again, The Year of Living Dangerously, Room with a View, Passage to India, The Imitation Game, When Harry Met Sally (or any Nora Ephram movie).
      Teacher: Mrs. Rappel and Mr. Altizer - a toss-up.

    Many friends made, planning for our invite - Daisies Don't Tell- and going with Don Davenport. We had a blast dancing to "The Boys Next Door". Mrs. Rappel's English class and how she pushed us to think and write better. Going to State our senior year and coming in third. The hair-raising game in Quincy that got us there, thanks to the efforts of Mark Stoddard, Dave Robisch, Tom Langford and Don Byrom. The game in Decatur where Tom Langford threw the ball about 3/4 the way across the court and it went in to win the game. I remember the students from Decatur banging on the outside of the buses and basically harassing us. So many memories center on basketball which continues to be a great love of mine. I have been to the Final Four four times and will be there again in Houston, my adopted hometown, in April 2016 to see it again. I always root for Illinois, Kansas, Texas or Duke. The first thee are understandable, and the last is a long story.

    I look back fondly over my high school years and feel fortunate to have made so many friends who, together, made nice memories to last a lifetime. As most of us did, I went to college, got a master's degree and started teaching at Southeast high school. Bill Foster (class of 1966) and I were married for 10 years and after six years of marriage had a daughter, Shannon. She is grown now and has her own family with our 9 year-old grandson, Jack.

    After 10 years, Bill and I discovered we were better friends than spouses, and we divorced in 1983. I met Kent Sollenebrger a few years later, and we married and have twin sons, Brad and Blake. Tall, smart, nice-looking and athletic, they gave me a run for my money. Fortunately they turned out well. Blake is married, lives in Madison, Wisconsin, and has a 13 month old son, Quinn. Blake is an accountant who does health care computer installations with his current assignment at Penn Medicine. Brad is married, has a 14-month old daughter, Joselyn, and they live in Marina Del Rey where he is an administrator in pathology for UCLA after he finished his graduate degree in healthcare at the University of Minnesota.

    I am nearing the end of a wonderful career in healthcare. I have been the CEO of a hospital and health system since 2000. It has been a rewarding career. I have built and opened five hospitals, acquired two other hospitals, spent a career focusing on improving patient care outcomes, and integrating technology to achieve results. I have traveled the world speaking on many healthcare topics in places like Stockholm, Sweden; Paris, France; Vienna, Austria, Bologna, Italy and have presented at universities in the US such as Yale, Whittier College, and the University of Illinois. Two honors I have received that are most meaningful are being named as the University of Illinois Alumni Achievement Award, serving on the U of I Alumni Board; and being named by Modern Healthcare Magazine as one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare. I have served on many non-profit boards and also served on a publicly traded utility board.

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